Tuesday, 8 March 2016

'Uncommon Valor' - The Vietnam War in the 80s

The Vietnam War, which ended in 1975, gained new interest in popular culture during the early 1980s.
The film I will be discussing in relation to the Vietnam War in the 1980s is Uncommon Valor (1983). The title of this movie refers the inscription on the Marine Corps War Memorial in Washington, D,C. It states "Where uncommon valor was a common virtue". 
In this film, a retired U.S Marine recruits other war veterans to put together a private rescue team, in the hopes of rescuing his son, a soldier that went missing in action 10 years ago, in Vietnam. 

The film is a great representation of a common issue regarding missing soldiers during the Vietnam War. During the war, there was about 2646 officially missing soldiers, and according to Misacts.org, 1626 are still missing today. The missing soldiers were said to have been shot down over North Vietnam or Laos, or just disappeared into the jungles. 
Many believe, and investigations into the subject have suggested that a significant number of the missing soldiers were captured and kept as prisoners or war. 

Investigations into determining what happened to these men went on for years after the war ended, but the progression in doing so was fairly slow, however during the mid 80s, there were improvements, thanks to relation improvements between the U.S and Vietnam. Thanks to this, policies and technical meetings increased, with the aim to help resolve the issues of the MIA soldiers, with Vietnam eventually returning some American soldiers remains, which had been previously collected and stored, back to America. This led to the identification of many missing American soldiers.

In 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was established, in Washington, DC. It was built to honour the soldiers who fought in the war, soldiers that died in Vietnam and South East Asia, and the soldiers that had gone missing during the war. 

Uncommon Valor represents the pain that countless numbers of families felt during and after the war, not knowing where their sons/brothers/husbands/fathers had disappeared to, not knowing whether they were alive or not, leaving them no chance to properly grieve for their loved ones. 

Trailer for Uncommon Valor:


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